Final days: Wicca
Photo by Chris Papakostas
Wicca the pitbull has been euthanized.
Despite efforts from her owner and supporters to save her life up until the very last minute, Wicca was killed last night at the Berger Blanc pound following a failed legal battle against a City of Montreal death order.
In a case that made headlines, Wicca was ordered put down by the city following a June 11 incident in Parc-Extension. She allegedly bit a female passerby and an ambulance technician called to the scene — an account that was disputed by her owner, Chris Papakostas, in court.
Papakostas mounted a vigorous defence for Wicca, securing the services of Elaine Rosenberg as his defence lawyer and enlisting the help of Sophie Fournier and her son, Rick Fournier, from non-profit rescue group Sophie’s Dog Adoption. A pro-Wicca campaign was launched online, garnering tens of thousands of supporters worldwide.
Following a court battle that saw the dog seized by the Berger Blanc animal pound, a July 25 Superior Court hearing quashed Papakostas’s appeal for a stay of execution. That night, Wicca’s supporters organized a protest rally outside Parc-Ex borough offices. They remained hopeful that his dog would be granted clemency by Mayor Gerald Tremblay or the Berger Blanc.
Early yesterday, there was hope Wicca would be spared. A photo taken of her inside the Berger Blanc pound was offered as proof of life on the “Save Wicca” Facebook page.
But hope soon faded. Papakostas was permitted a one-hour visit with Wicca that morning. He reports the dog was defecating in her cage and there was blood in her stool, symptoms Papakostas attributed to the stress of confinement. He read Wicca a goodbye letter he had written.
City security guards were present at the Berger Blanc. “The place was like Fort Knox,” says Papakostas.
Papakostas, who says Wicca was his “true love,” vows to continue his fight with City Hall. He still plans to contest the municipal tickets stemming from the June 11 incident. He also objects to planned reforms to the laws which allowed the city to seize Wicca — concerns shared by the SPCA.
“This can’t stop here,” says Papakostas.■